Kapchorwa Commercial Farmers Association (KACOFA) was started in 2006 by 27 farmers who produce barley, maize, coffee and sorghum. Until recently, KACOFA was unable to support its’ members production and marketing activities due to a weak organizational structure and institutional systems. Additionally, the farmers had limited marketing skills and no access to storage. This resulted in low quality grain, low levels of production and few offers for affordable credit.
In order to remedy these challenges, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and the World Food Programme (WFP) established a US $1.4million, 2,000MT warehouse. KACOFA procured fertilisers, hired extension officers, obtained delivery contracts with the WFP and established a warehouse receipt system for its members.
Without a warehouse, around 40% of produce is lost post-harvest. The new warehouse is intended to significantly reduce this loss and increase access to important services including grading, weighing, cleaning, drying and packaging. The KACOFA association has since grown to 6,328 members and has 19 staff members that provide support in production and marketing activities. This has resulted in more secure and productive livelihoods for its members. For example, Joyce Banan, a founding member of the KACOFA, was previously unable to produce more than 8 bags of maize per hectare of land. She can now produce yields of more than 35 bags per hectare, and has been able to send her 3 children to university.